PURSE INCREASES, REVISED FEDEX CUP, CALENDAR-YEAR SCHEDULE COMING in 2024
HARTFORD, Conn – Remember the old PGA Tour phrase “These guys are good?” Well, it should be replaced with the cliche from the 1996 movie Jerry Mcguire “Show me the money.”
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that many of the game’s top players have joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series – a series of eight tournaments, with 48-player fields, 54-holes, no cut with purses of $25 million, with winner cashing $4 million.
If you’re thinking yes, those guys are good, think also, they are rich. Coming soon could be a reality show titled “Lifestyle’s of golf’s rich and famous.”
When LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman announced the formation of the exclusive world mini-tour 10 months ago, no names were released. With Brooks Koepka making an official commitment today here’s the updated player list: Louis Oosthuizen, Bryson DeChambeau, Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Kevin Na, Patrick Reed, Abraham Ancer, Ian Poulter and many more.
The second LIV Golf Invitational is in Portland taking place June 30 – July 2 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Oregon. The fourth event is scheduled for The International in Bolton (MA) September 2-4.
In an effort to stop the PGA Tour from imploding by virtue of an exodus of top players departing, in a press conference prior to the start of the Travelers Championship PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced several major changes.
First, the PGA Tour will return to a calendar-year schedule starting in 2024. Second, he said eight tournaments will greatly enhance their purses. Third, expect to see revised field sizes for the FedExCup Playoffs. Four, the fall schedule will include up to three no-cut, limited-field international events with money and sponsors TBD.
“These changes will further strengthen the FedExCup and create a strong, coordinated global schedule,” Monahan said, detailing a condensed FedExCup season that will run from January to August, “offering a more compelling product for our players, fans and partners.”
In broad strokes, the FedExCup Playoffs will feature revised field sizes starting next year. The top 70 will make the first event of the Playoffs, the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis. The top 50 will make the BMW Championship, and the top 30, as usual, will compete for the FedExCup at the TOUR Championship at East Lake.
The 70 players who qualify for the first Playoffs event will be fully exempt for the following season, including invitationals. Anyone outside that cutoff can improve his status in the fall events, at the conclusion of which the top 125 will be fully exempt for the following season.
“While different than it’s been in the past, I think it’s going to be very exciting for fans and I think will create great energy in the fall,” said Monahan, who added that he expects the fall events to be “very consequential, very meaningful.”
Additionally, the PGA Tour is making room for up to three international, no-cut, limited-field events, taking the top 50 from the final FedExCup, and top performers from the fall. The format and other details of these events are under review by the Player Advisory Council.
Alongside these changes, the Policy Board also amended the Resource Allocation Plan to increase purse sizes at the following eight events in 2023:
* Sentry Tournament of Champions – $15 million (up from $8.2M in 2022)
* The Genesis Invitational – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)
* Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)
* THE PLAYERS Championship – $25 million (up from $20 million in 2022)
* WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)
* Memorial Tournament presented by Workday – $20 million (up from $12 million in 2022)
* FedEx St. Jude Championship – $20 million (up from $15 million in 2022)
* BMW Championship – $20 million (up from $15 million in 2022)
“There is more work to be done and details to confirm,” Monahan said at TPC River Highlands, “but implementing substantial changes to our schedule gives us the best opportunity to not only drive earnings to our players, but also improve our product and create a platform for continued growth in the future.”
The top three players in the FedExCup – Scottie Scheffler, Sam Burns and Rory McIlroy – and six of the top 15 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are set to tee it up at the Travelers, where Harris English is the defending champion.
“On the PGA TOUR, our members compete for the opportunity to add their names to history books, and, yes, significant financial benefits, without having to wrestle with any sort of moral ambiguity,” Monahan said. “And pure competition creates relevancy and context, which is what fans need and expect in order to invest their time in a sport and in a player.
“That’s the beauty of the PGA TOUR,” he added. “We have and always will provide a global platform for members to compete against the very best, earn their stardom, and become household names.”
Golf fans and golf media are curious to know how two competing world tours will shake out. However, we do know it shakes out into lots of zeroes into the bank accounts of the players.
Video of press conference with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan (41 minutes)
Travelers Championship Scoreboard